Riley White showed his support to his sisters Lydia and Hannah while they performed in the Actor’s Guild’s production of “Newsies” in August. From left, Lydia, Riley and Hannah. (Photo provided)
BELPRE — Belpre High School sophomore Riley White is exploring his passion for music while restoring cars and performing odd jobs around the community.
White, 16, is a member of the marching band, which took home a Superior rating at the Ohio Music Educators Association State Marching Band Finals on Nov. 4. He said he has performed in two previous finals and felt great about the band’s performance.
“I believe that we left everything on the field. I’ve learned that to go into something like that expecting a good result typically means that you will go backwards in that idea, therefore I keep my expectations low going in,” he said.
However, White said he experienced “pure joy” when Belpre’s score was announced during the awards ceremony.
White also pursues music as a hobby. He plays guitar and described a memorable song he recently learned.
Riley White and his dad, Robin, model construction gear from Riley’s truck while their dog Charlie looks up. (Photo provided)
“My favorite piece of music that I have ever learned how to play would have to go to ‘Master of Puppets’ by Metallica, which I learned on guitar,” he said. “I set myself the goal of learning how to play this song from the beginning of my guitar playing journey, and I feel that I am further completing this goal every single time I pick up my guitar.”
White said his love for music came from his grandfather, a bluegrass player.
“He built, fixed and sold mandolins, banjos, guitars and more throughout his life. His love for music was passed on to his son, my father, who then passed that love for music on to me. You could say that music simply runs in my veins,” he said.
Another hobby equal to music is restoring and fixing cars.
“I also have an equal love and interest for the car community and the way that cars and trucks are able to move and operate,” he said. “I enjoy fixing and wrenching on my vehicles as it teaches me how to fix my own vehicles rather than paying someone else to do that work.”
Riley White plays a solo in the “Sound of Silence” during a 2022 Belpre Marching Band performance. Liam Kocher watches from below. (Photo provided)
White said he purchased his first vehicle, a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500, in July 2022.
The vehicle was supposed to be a restoration project and he was ready for the challenge. He spent a year fixing it and is now driving it every day.
This entrepreneurial spirit translates into White’s long term goals. He said he wants to open his own business.
“I want to someday open my own business where my own ideas can come to fruition, and I am able to make my own hours,” he said.
One way White is working toward this goal is performing odd jobs, such as landscaping, mowing, pressure washing and automotive detailing.
Riley White shows off his truck, a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500, the day it was purchased in July 2022. (Photo provided)
White also is excelling in the classroom, keeping a 4.0 GPA. He has taken honors and College Credit Plus subjects through Washington State Community College including Comprehension 1, Speech, American history, Music Appreciation and Technical Writing
While he doesn’t have a favorite school subject, White enjoys math.
“Math has always been a subject that came relatively easy to me, and I like the feelings I get when I complete a particularly difficult problem,” he said.
Kristen Hainkel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Riley White and his cousin Lily White hang out during the Belpre v. Eastern football game. Riley said he enjoyed seeing Lily perform in Eastern’s halftime show. (Photo provided)